Oct. 2, 2020
The New York Times — The Secret Service sustained a coronavirus outbreak at its training facility in Maryland in August, weeks before President Trump was infected, evidence of growing infections at the agency responsible for protecting the president.
At least 11 employees at the center in rural Maryland tested positive for the virus even though the agency had closed it for several months this year to enforce procedures to mitigate transmission, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.
Some of the personnel are believed to have contracted the virus during training exercises and at a graduation celebration inside a nearby hotel where they did not practice social distancing, the people said.
The agency declined to discuss the specifics of the outbreak but said in a statement that it “has taken significant precautions at its training center to protect the health and welfare of its trainees and training staff.” There’s no indication this outbreak led to infections among the agents and officers who directly protect the president.
The details about the outbreak were uncovered by the Project on Government Oversight, an independent watchdog group in Washington. The organization brought that information to The New York Times, which independently confirmed specifics with people briefed on the matter.
The announcement early Friday morning that the president and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus gave the outbreak new relevance. Hours before that, the White House confirmed that Hope Hicks, a close adviser to Mr. Trump, was also infected.
Speaking on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, the president blamed military and law enforcement personnel for Ms. Hicks’s exposure.
“It is very, very hard when you are with people from the military, or from law enforcement, and they come over to you, and they want to hug you, and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them,” Mr. Trump said … Read more.